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Kota Kinabalu

November 21, 2012

A seasonal monsoon pattern currently holds us in port. There is a chance that we will soon get a weather window that will allow us to venture out of this dreamlike and luxurious marina called Sutera Harbour and Marina.

The weather pattern starts in the early hours of morning when around 0300hrs the temperature drops to around 24 or 25 centigrade which is deliciously cool compared to the daytime. Then the fans down below can be turned off and depending on the humidity one can get a few good hours of sleep before the sun comes up and the temperature starts to rise.

Once daylight arrives then all the extra shade tools are put in place to limit direct sunshine from hitting the deck. We begin to look like a gypsy caravan as the array of sheets, covers, tablecloths etc are employed, like everything else, for a second purpose. Trying to stay out of the sun yet get work done is the main mornings ritual. Hopefully by noon chores are completed and then one can take a break until later in the afternoon when the sun goes down.

Often enough the afternoons see clouds thickening, darkness descends in the distance and the sun disappears and humidity rises. Slowly the clouds roll across the sky, the humidity rises even higher and the first raindrops start to fall. Within thirty minutes the sky feels like it is falling as the streaks of gray are torn from the clouds above and descend on everything trying to scrub the earth clean. Temporary shade cloths are gathered in, hatches closed and fans put on high down below to try to dispel the humidity and give some relief to the stuffiness as a result of closing everything up.

Eventually the rain stops, it is time for a stroll in the early hours of the evening as temperatures drop and then time for a late dinner and the re-opening of all the hatches to let the cooler evening are in down below. Then it is the cycle all over again.

At least we can be thankful of the mountains of Borneo which allow cooler air in the evening to descend down to the coast.

We have now been sitting in this marina for two weeks but have not been idle. Despite the heat the list of items to accomplish gets a little smaller. Sage begins to come to life and feels like setting off to sea once again and we talk about moving westwards. The marina is enticing with its seven swimming pools, the very reasonable laundry service, the towel service in the sports centre and the air-conditioned bus service to downtown. However, the pull of the sea is stronger and the desire to move westward stronger.

Moving westward from here means stops in Tiga Island for the mud baths, then the duty-free zone of Labuan and on to Brunei for fuel prices at nine cents per litre and a visit to the country with one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world. From there it will be back to Malaysia, on to Miri and Kuching.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Middleton permalink
    November 21, 2012 04:28

    Kota Kinabalu – before your “voyage of discovery” I had never heard of this place nor of many of your exotic ports of call. Thanks for sharing all this and in such a literate way. 9 cents a liter for gas? Gas has recently dropped here to $1.12/liter for over $1.35. Stay cool!

  2. Mariann Olchowy permalink
    November 21, 2012 05:20

    My sentiment exactly, your narration is beautifully descriptive, I can just feel the heat and humidity and see those dark clouds descending, what a great life you and Connie are living.

  3. Admiral Wayno permalink
    November 21, 2012 11:47

    Weather like Townsville but without the arvo showers. And so we roast….

  4. Anne Boldt permalink
    November 21, 2012 18:03

    Well what can I say except we are in Yuma (lovely and warm and zero humidity) …leave for Mexico tomorrow. Have provisioned up with the last of the USA materials we can get for 3 1/2 months. No comparison to your travels but they are adventures in many ways too.
    From land rig to ocean rig with love!!
    Annie and Lornie

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